The Florida Orange Bird, first introduced by Disney in the late ‘70’s, was a way to highlight Florida’s citrus business, it was a joint deal with Florida Citrus Growers. The Bird has been in hibernation until late last year when Disney reintroduced him in the Sunshine Tree Terrace section in the Adventureland area.
I obtained an orange bird at a road side souvenir stand on my first visit to Disney in 1984. The little three inch figure is now long gone, most likely disposed with other non-essential items from my youth. This figure sat on my nightstand for over 10 years always offering a warm smile to welcome each morning. I assume the Bird brought many others the same joy.
Unfortunately During the late ‘80’s Disney began to decommission the Orange Bird. Sadness must have filled the Sunshine State.
Pleasantries do happen. On a recent visit to Disney, the family and I were greeted by the Orange Bird in Disney pin format. Nu and I could not contain our excitement and went on a quest to find different style Orange Birds in mystery pin packs. With only enough cash to purchase one mystery pin package we both crossed our fingers. Eric opened the package as we engaged in an ice cream treat at Ghirardelli’s and then let out the loudest yip you ever heard, yes another Orange Bird pin. I don’t know who was more excited Nu or myself. Let’s just say it was a tie.
I know it must seem odd to get excited over this rarely heard of character. But just look how friendly it looks, all orange and smiling. Nu now loves that Bird, I think it may be his favorite Disney character. I wouldn’t blame him and I think the Orange Bird deserves his own Pixar treatment.
Disney now has a few more Orange Bird merchandise around, not easily available, but it’s there if you look hard enough. If you are ever in town be sure to stop by the Sunshine Tree Terrace and enjoy an orange swirl or a drink from the Orange Bird plastic souvenir sip cup.
Ah, the delight of never being able to get enough Vitamin C. Hats off to you NuNu.